Restaurant Quality Food - Delivered to your Door - Review

 If you hadn't noticed, I absolutely love food and cooking!  But of course, there are many people who either don't have the interest, or are simply too busy and can't spare the time to cook.
So if you are one of those people and would like to hold a dinner party, how about trying my choice (for the main course) Parmesan, Pancetta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken with a side of Dauphinoise Potatoes - without the bother of having to actually make it - sounds good?
Then read on!



Before I go on, I noticed that Free Range Eggs were always used in their food.  If they wasn't, I would have turned down the chance of this review.
 
More More More are an online company based in Newcastle (UK) and they deliver home-cooked food straight to your door.  Either your everyday meals or a fancy dinner party feast can be delivered, leaving you very little to do apart from pop it in the oven and take it to the table when it's done.
So, for my review I could place an order of 'home-cooked quality food' and have it delivered to my door.  Even though I don't have a problem cooking myself (in fact if we hold a dinner party I'm in my element) I even love the stress part but this still sounded good, so how did it go?
 

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread

 Just about everyone loves Walkers Shortbread and especially me.  It's amazing how just a few simple ingredients of flour, pure butter, sugar and salt, can produce such a delicious mouthful every time.  
No artificial flavouring, colouring or preservatives, just melt in the mouth pure butter shortbread.

 
Established over a hundred years ago, Walkers Shortbread has long been established as the world’s purveyors of luxury shortbread and the company today is still run by Joseph Walkers Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren who faithfully maintain the tradition of producing the finest shortbread's to the original recipes.

Hotel Chocolat - The Nutty Collection

Hotel Chocolat have a great range Autumn products and Halloween themed chocolates for October - the spookiest month of the year! 

Having been asked if I'd like to review a box I chose The Nutty Collection.  


Praline-filled walnut, Caramel Truffle Acorns, Praline-filled Hazelnuts (with a whole nut tucked inside!), nutty caramel and and a delicious hazelnut praline.

Weight: 215g / 7.5oz and priced at £16.00

Images by Hotel Chocolat

 Considering the high quality of the chocolate, great presentation and that they focus on ethically sourced cocoa to use in their products, I'd say the price is good and each chocolate is generously filled with either praline or truffle.

 Thank you to Hannah and Hotel Chocolat for sending me a box of The Nutty Collection to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of and therefore would buy myself.
 

Sponsored Video How to Make Potato Piglets - Spanish Tapas

I just love these cute Potato Piglets with Cinco Jotas ham (shown in the video below) a mini Master Class video by with Three-starred Michelin Chef Pedro Subijana of the world renowned Akelarre restaurant in San Sebastian.    

They are perfect as part of Spanish tapas and although they might seem a tiny bit time consuming, the video is easy to follow and they can be made at home.   Potato puree is prepared and in a series of drying it out in thin layers, and then by re-hydrating it again to make it pliable the potato is rolled out like pastry, cut into pig shapes and deep fried for a few seconds which produces lovely fat puffed up potato pigs!   

SousVide Supreme - Entertaining Made Easy

 Whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply cooking meals for the family the SousVide Supreme water oven really is the bees knees of kitchen equipment.
 Here I've made three different starter courses, all inexpensive and simple to make but there's a difference to the norm, the chicken, peppers, egg and asparagus used in these dishes were cooked in a SousVide Supreme Water Oven.  Meaning you can cook ahead and without fuss, get on with your day and dinner is ready when you are.

First up - Sous Vide Indian-style Chicken and Pepper Tikka Skewers:


Sous Vide Soft Cooked Egg with Asparagus and Bacon Dust:


And lastly Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls 
with Pickled Cucumber:

 

 Just recently I was lucky enough to be sent an absolutely fantastic piece of kitchen equipment in the form of a SousVide Supreme Water Bath.
After seeing the water bath method of cooking programs such as Masterchef, you've no idea how much I've wanted one since.  That said, the ones in professional kitchens are far too big to fit in my tiny kitchen.
But the good news is, SousVide Supreme have made a smaller version which is perfect for the home cook and big enough to cope with a dinner party.

What exactly is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) means “under vacuum” in French, and sous vide cooking is a gourmet culinary technique long used by chefs worldwide.
Instead of good cooking relying on perfect timing to cook, sous vide relies on precise temperature control, but once you've set the temperature on the machine you don't have to fuss about it anymore - just leave your food to cook.
 
So what was in the Box?
   SousVide Supreme Water Oven:

SousVide Vacuum Sealer, which includes 10 pouches of different size, 2 boxes of vacuum seal cooking pouches, and the Easy Sous Vide Cookbook, a DVD and of course there are operating instructions for the water oven and the vacuum sealer.



 How easy it is to cook with the SousVide Supreme?
In return for receiving the SousVide Supreme I have to create a variety of recipes, all using the SousVide Supreme water bath.  So over the next few months I will be showing you exactly how easy it is to use.  In this post I'll show you three easy to make recipes suitable as starter courses.
 
Whilst this method of cooking is totally different to the norm once you see how amazingly tender and so perfectly cooked a medium-rare steak turns out, I think you too will be converted it makes you look like a professional chef turning out some of the best food ever.   

So for example if you like your steak medium-rare the precise temperature that a 1 inch thick piece of steak needs to be is to 56.5 C / 134F so once you've set the temperature on the machine as long as the steak has had the minimum time to cook it doesn't matter if you leave it there for another hour, two hours or even most of the day, your steak will stay safe to eat and perfectly medium-rare just as you wanted.

And when you're ready to serve?
All that's needed is an extremely quick flash-fry of 30 seconds in hot butter which will ensure your steak browns and looks as good as it's tastes.  

Of course it's not just steak:
 Poultry, Game, all Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Fruit and Eggs can all be cooked perfectly in the SousVide Supreme.

Chicken breast for example which is known for very easily becoming tough during cooking, with the SousVide Supreme chicken is perfectly cooked, meltingly tender and so, so juicy.  Because when cooking in a vacuum sealed pouch there simply isn't anywhere for the natural juices along with any seasonings you might add to go.
Seriously the results are truly outstanding - SousVide also delivers healthier and more nutritious food.      

Timings and recommended temperatures for your chosen cut of meat, chicken, fish and vegetables and even fruit are all listed
in a book as part of the kit.  But you can always check them here: 
Sous Vide Cooking Times and Temperatures Reference Guide.

Getting Started - Fill the Machine with Hot Water:
 Fill to just below the 'Max' as when the food is in the water level will rise, you can either add a little more or remove some if necessary.


Seal the food to be cooked in the special food grade pouches which are designed to be sealed by the heat.
For example, place asparagus evenly in a pouch.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, personally I find it best to season after cooking.
Make sure the special food grade bag is straight, and with the top of the pouch laying on the rippled surface just touching the air portal.


Close the lid and press 'Vacuum/Seal' - the air with be automatically drawn out and the bag will seal afterwards.


Your food is now ready to be cooked in the SousVide water oven!

Four Easy Steps to SousVide Cooking are simply;
 Season, Seal, Simmer and Serve.

 Season: Meat, chicken or fish or vegetables, fill the machine with hot water and set the temperature on the SousVide water oven.  Pop into the special food grade plastic pouches along with any chosen herbs you might fancy.
Seal: The pouch using a vacuum machine.
Simmer: Once your selected temperature has been reached, place the sealed vacuum pouch into the water bath by resting it in the rack.  Put the lid on along with the heat mat included and get on with enjoying your day whilst dinner is being cooked with the temperature being constantly monitored for you by the SousVide water oven.
Serve: When the time is up, take the pouch out of the machine and turn the machine off.  Open the pouch taking care of the hot steam on opening and you can either enjoy your beautifully cooked food straight away, or continue to cook further depending on your recipe. 
Leave the water to cool before emptying the machine.
Indian-style Chicken and Pepper Tikka Skewers:


 Print Recipe

 Allow 1 chicken breast fillet and half of a bell pepper for every 2 skewers you want to make.

Skinless chicken breast fillets - cut into bite sized pieces
Red bell pepper - cut into bite sized pieces
Tikka Masala Paste (Pataks or Sharwood's are both good)
vegetable oil

How to do it: 
Mix the paste and oil together in a bowl - about 1 tablespoon of paste to a drizzle of oil is enough for 1 chicken fillet. Leave to marinate for at least half an hour.  
Thread the chicken onto wooden skewers alternating with pepper.
Pop the skewers into a pouch - best to roll the top of the pouch so the marinade doesn't get on the top of the bag, if it does it wont seal properly.


Seal the pouch and fill the SousVide water oven with hot water and set the temperature to 63.5C or 146F
Once the temperature is reached pop the sealed bags into the water and allow to cook for a minimum of 1 hour but I left mine simmering away for 2 and a half hours.
*This is the great thing about Sous Vide cooking, only the temperature and minimum time has to be paid attention to, then you can leave most foods simmering all day - until you are ready to eat*

Remove the pouch from the oven and remember the food will be perfectly cooked though but for visual presentation just pop the skewers either onto the BBQ for literately 30 seconds each side, or onto a VERY hot griddle-pan as I did to achieve a nice char-grilled look.
Enjoy!


Sous Vide Soft Cooked Egg with Asparagus and Bacon Dust:


Print Recipe

Allow 1 egg and 4 or 5 asparagus tips per person and 1 rasher of bacon will make enough dust for 6 plates.

How to do it:

For perfectly cooked Asparagus Tips: 
Fill the machine with hot water and  at 88C/190.5 and pop in the vacuum sealed pouch and cook for just 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove and without opening the bag, see if it bends easily and when it does it's done.


    I cooked the asparagus in the Sous Vide water oven the day before, since the eggs and vegetables need different temperatures it was easier.
 Asparagus needs nothing but a tiny drizzle of oil added to the cooking pouch and I find it nicer if it's seasoned once it's cooked.  All vegetables keep their colour and look amazing.
 Once it was cooked I plunged the bag into ice cold water and left it to cool. Wiped the bag dry and stored still sealed in the bag until the following day.

Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a tiny amount of vegetable oil and fry a rasher of smoked back bacon until it's really crisp.  Now wrap in a couple of sheets of kitchen paper and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds and it should be very crisp.  If not pop it back for another 20 seconds but take care not to burn it.
Leave to cool and crush in a pestle and mortar or with under another sheet of kitchen paper with a rolling pin and voi·là bacon dust!

Perfect Soft Cooked Eggs:
 After a few experiments I found that a temperature of 65C and 45 minutes produced the perfect soft cooked egg and very fresh eggs work best.

There is no need to put your eggs in a bag.  Fill the Sous Vide with hot water and set the temperature to 65C/149F and once the temperature is carefully lower in your eggs one at a time and set the timer on the machine to 45 minutes.
Once the time is up the machine will give out a series of load beeps.  Remove the eggs and crack into a cup before placing on your finished dish, only because it's easier that way.  

Plate your dish up, add the egg and enjoy!


Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls with Pickled Cucumber:


Print Recipe

To serve 4 you will need:
about 4 inches of cucumber - seeds removed and diced
a pinch of salt
 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar 

1 x skinless chicken breast fillet - cooked Sous Vide with a tiny drizzle of oil and a splash of soy sauce - then cooled and thinly sliced
1 carrot, 1 spring onion - very thinly sliced into matchsticks
a few baby gem lettuce leaves - shredded  
8 Spring roll rice papers and Vermicelli Noodles - available in any good supermarket.

How to do it:
Fill the Sous Vide oven with hot water and set the temperature to 63.5C/146F
Once the temperature has been reached submerge the chicken fillet (prepared as above) into the water and as long as it's been simmering for a minimum of 1 hour, remember cooking Sous Vide means it can stay there all day if you wish without the chicken drying out, it will stay moist and full of flavour and is ready when you are.

  Meanwhile, make the Pickled Cucumber:
Sprinkle the diced cucumber with the salt and leave for 30 minutes.  Once ready, pat dry with kitchen paper and put the cucumber into a small bowl.  Add the rice vinegar and sugar and give it a good stir.  Leave for an hour or so and to serve just drain from the liquid.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove and cool in ice cold water whilst still in the pouch.  Then remove the pouch and slice the chicken into thin strips.

For the Spring Rolls:
Pop the vermicelli noodles into a bowl and add boiling water, leave for 5 minutes then rinse and drain.
Place one spring roll rice wrapper at a time into a large bowl of warm water and leave for just a couple of seconds so the rice paper has softened.
Lay on a plate and add the chicken, carrot, lettuce and spring onion filling along with a few noodles, taking care not to over fill.
Bring the bottom of the rice paper up to cover the filling, fold the side in and roll.  Cut each roll in half when you're ready to serve.


  Next time I'll be showing you three Main Courses including a selection of vegetables.
You can find more delicious Sous Vide recipes over at Karen's site;
Lavender and Lovage.

Disclaimer: I was sent a SousVide Supreme Promo Pack which consists of: a SousVide Supreme water oven, Vacuum sealer which includes 10 pouches.
2 boxes of vacuum seal cooking pouches, and the Easy Sous Vide cookbook
RRP: £506:98 (£422.48 excluding VAT) it is mine to keep in return for blog posts and a total of twelve recipes.

+SousVide Supreme 

Giveaway - Solar Powered Kitchen Scales from Judge Cookware

Great news! Having recently reviewed the Photovoltaic Solar Powered Kitchen Scales from Judge Cookware, I've now been asked to host a Giveaway.


  You can read my review here - Solar powered of course will save you money as there's no need to buy batteries.  Not only that, these scales look GOOD and they are!  Both Imperial and Metric at the press of a button, and can measure liquids too means you can add and weigh as you go without any messing about.

Now for the Giveaway!
One lucky reader of this blog will win a set of these Photovoltaic Solar Powered Kitchen Scales - RRP £50.


 Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget.  Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK or Ireland only. 
 To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed.  
 For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget.
Good Luck Everyone! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After Eight Chocolate and Mint Desserts

Did you know, 'After Eight' is now available as a dessert, creamy chocolatey minty flavour in a pot?  To celebrate over fifty years of the after dinner chocolate mint thins we all know and love, the new After Eight Chocolate Dessert Pots have now launched in all major supermarkets.

 
Having been sent a good few boxes of them to try, Paul (the husband and chief taster of all things chocolate) was loving it.  Regular readers of this blog will know that personally I don't really like chocolate - but Paul does!
So his luck was in and he tucked in to a pack of two within minutes of their arrival.

Dripless Oil Bottle from Trudeau - Review

Trudeau's Dripless Oil and Vinegar Bottles are perfect for drizzling your favourite oils and vinegars directly onto salads, pastas or breads. 
Having been sent the oil pourer to review I can say when pouring the oil from the spout there isn't a drip to be seen.  In case you're wondering, the stopper stays firmly in place too.

  
The pourer is comfortable to hold, easy to fill, allows one handed pouring and cleans up nicely in the dishwasher or in a bowl of hot sudsy water.  

300ml is a good size, there's also a vinegar bottle available and although the bottles look the same, there's an embossed "O" on the top of the oil bottle and the other has a "V". 


  Made of lightweight clear glass which is a good thing as you can see when you're running out of oil or vinegar without finding out in mid pour!

Distributed by Gilberts to Independent Quality Stores and www.topgourmet.co.uk

Many thanks to Pam and Giberts for sending me the oil pourer to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of and therefore would buy myself.

Chicken with Chorizo Peppers and Potatoes

Gotta love a tray-bake - so easy to do, sweet red peppers, onions and new potatoes cooked with lovely spicy chorizo and topped with crispy skinned chicken, this is delicious.  


 This tray-bake can even be prepared in advance ready to pop in the oven later, just dont add the chicken till you are ready to cook.  
Nothing else but nice crusty bread for dipping and moping is needed.
 
Although I use those disposable foil trays it does have to be said I do re-use them.  Just pop into the dishwasher or give a good soak and they're good to go.  Okay, they dont look as good because they go a bit dull, but who cares, only a mad food blogger like me that takes pictures.  Hence the shiny new trays in my tray-bake posts.

Bird Cage Bow Vintage-Style Apron - Review

Well just look at these fancy aprons - designed and handmade in Norfolk (UK) by C’est Ça!

 

 Now, I was going to model the bow one, but although I'm not at all vain, since I'm not very well at the moment it's probably in the best interest of everyone that I don't!
 

LinkWithin